While You Were Reading
by Ali Berg & Michelle Kalus
Published by Simon & Schuster Australia
Publication Date: 1st of July, 2019
Australian RRP: $24.99
Meet Beatrix Babbage – 29-year-old dog-earer of books and accidental destroyer of weddings. After ruining her best friend’s nuptials, Bea relocates to the other side of the country in search of a fresh start, including meeting new people, living life to the fullest and finally pulling off balayage. Bea stumbles across a second-hand novel, inscribed with notes. Besotted with the poetic inscriptions, Bea is determined to find the author… and finds herself entangled in one hell of a love quadrangle.
Ali and Michelle, co-authors of The Book Ninja, return with a great new contemporary novel about a woman in a new place and job, without friends after a terrible fallout with her best friend. Bea then finds a second-hand book with the most intriguing and compelling hand written notes through it. Finally, she has some excitement in her life on her fresh start and is determined to find the previous owner of this book!
Our main character Bea is a woman just turned thirty and definitely a relatable character in terms of having all those embarrassing moments and constantly saying those things aloud that you shouldn’t let through the filter. She’s loveable in a charming, sometimes dorky way and her passion for all things book related gave me a great connection to her as I found her inner thoughts really entertaining too.
Bea and Zach’s meeting was so adorable and unexpected. I would have been so shocked in that position myself, but undeniably awed by the luck of the situation! It was so romantic straight away how he was in the same bar as her and walked up to her to chat not knowing when he asked what book she was reading that it would be his! When I read that Zach (the attractive and well-read man) was an editor at Simon & Schuster I honestly thought, yes Bea marry him! But that is just too good to be true and I could definitely tell the book would turn out in another unexpected way that I enjoyed.
Also, how cool is it that this book is so heavy on the literary side with so many mentions to the Melbourne Writers Festival and Bea actually makes a bookstagram account after deciding to search for the owner of her secondhand book! I love how engaging that is as a bookstgrammer myself and it’s really great how it’s actually formatted into the book as well, head over to @helloisthisyourbook to see the actual posts as well. This book is a fantastic match for any reader and lover of books, but it’s also just a really feel-good romantic novel that gave me all the warm, fuzzy feelings.
(Thank you to Simon & Schuster for an advance copy of this book in exchange for review. While You Were Reading is out now!)